‘A Lot Happened to Rock My Normally Steady Life’

There is a Chinese superstition that the year of your zodiac animal is unlucky. I’m Korean, but the belief was something I grew up with.

My zodiac animal is the rabbit, and my mother reassured me that 2023 would be good for me despite it being the Year of the Rabbit. She wasn’t wrong, but the superstition wasn’t either.

It was a harder year for me than usual in general: financially, mentally, emotionally, physically. A lot happened to rock my normally steady life.

To ground myself, I leaned on routine — morning walks, visualization, workouts. I found surprising comfort in one of my oldest routines: my weekly Metropolitan Diary assignments.

More than ever, I looked forward to reading and illustrating these stories of New York, especially the ones that made me laugh or reminded me of how resilient and kind people can be.

Metropolitan Diary drawings by Agnes Lee were included in a New York Times marketing campaign inside a subway car.Credit…The New York Times

As my mother predicted, not everything in 2023 was bad. I moved to a new city and made new friends. Thanks to a New York Times marketing campaign, I got to see my Diary illustrations covering the inside and outside of a subway train car. And I finished my first graphic novel, “49 Days,” which will be published in March.

I’m excited for 2024 and the Year of the Dragon. Whatever comes with it, good luck or bad, I’ll be grateful to continue my Metropolitan Diary routine, turning the small, memorable moments of readers’ lives into art.

Back to top button